Misbehaving While Visiting – Toddler Discipline Visiting Friends or Family!

As most parents know children are normally better behaved when out visiting, than in there own home, but a small percentage still make going anywhere very stressful for their parents.

Even if your child has been fairly easy-going and well behaved.

By the age of three you may notice changes with unexpected behavior.


For example, you decide to catch up with a friend you have lost touch with after the birth of your child, you arrange to go to visit and all seems to be going well, enjoying a cuppa and a chat. Misbehaving While Visiting Then your three year old comes to the kitchen with what looks like paint on her clothes. And sure enough that’s what it is, but she didn’t only just get paint on herself the main bedroom also has a new look as well as the new carpet.

This is probably a very extreme example; but when we are out, we feel like we are under the microscope always being judged for our children’s actions.

Misbehaving While Visiting – How your child is thinking…

Your child is not on the same wavelength as you and has other ideas on what they can do while you chat. Your child will love the idea of being out of the house and will want to explore and see what things there are to do, especially if they’re out of site of their parents.


This place has so many rooms and I want to see all of them. The new carpet looks like a clean place to do some painting, there is nothing in my way. The walls would look so much better if only they had some pictures on them too I think, “I’m such a big kid,” mum will be so proud of my helping decorate their new home.

Misbehaving While Visiting – Preventing The Decorator…

The idea of a child misbehaving is an adult’s version of what has happened, your child is not only helping decorate the house but doing something interesting and staying out of the way. Adults are the ones who label this behavior, as misbehavior, but when you look at it from a child’s point, that is not their intention at all, especially young children.

Misbehaving While Visiting – Stopping The Destruction…

When you take your child out, make sure you have a look around for things that your child will find interesting and be bound to fiddle with. Children are very curious about new things, they want to play with them take them apart and basically check things out. To save any destruction, tell your child the boundaries, and be clear with them.

Misbehaving While Visiting – Lay Down The Law…

All children need to know where they stand with everything. This being said set the rules before you go out and remind your child upon leaving the car. Make it a rule, “Keep your hand in your pockets when in someone else’s house.”

Children see other people picking up things around the new house, but doesn’t understand that the things belong to someone, at the age of three, your child thinks, oh look, there is a thing I like, I’m going to have a good look at that. Ownership simply does not exist for children of that age. They think things are everyone’s.

Mum always tells me to share and that’s what I’m making them do with their things. Sharing is so much fun with all these new things to play with.

Misbehaving While Visiting – Solving The Problem…

Teach your child before going to someone else’s place that they are to ask for your permission to touch things when you get there. Tell your child “you must come and ask me if you can play with anything before you touch it.” Give your child a little reminder that the house belongs to Mrs. Jones, and so does all the things in it.

Misbehaving While Visiting – Help Children Clean Up…

If your child makes a mess in someone else’s house, make them clean it up. Your child is in the process of learning what they can and can’t do. Now is as good a time as any to teach them they have to clean any mess they make, don’t be afraid to help them. This is also leading by example, it is better for your child to do the majority of the job for them to get real benefit from cleaning up.

I know we get embarrassed or angry by our children’s mistakes, but your child will benefit more if you remain calm, don’t take your feelings out on your child. Look at what’s happened, look for solutions, and help fix it.

Misbehaving While Visiting – The Don’ts…

Don’t punish your child or stop taking them places, this will teach them nothing. Next time supervise you child closely until they can behave the way you are teaching them. Don’t forget, young children are curious and inexperienced in the world.

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